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UNICEF and Government of Fiji vow to reach most vulnerable children through social protection networks

SUVA, 4 NOVEMBER 2016: UNICEF and the Government of Fiji will accelerate efforts in reaching the most vulnerable children through social protection networks. The statement was issued at the departure to Kuala Lumpur of a delegation from UNICEF Pacific and the Ministry of Women, Children, and Poverty Alleviation. 

In the 7-8 November meeting, senior officials from Asia and the Pacific will explore opportunities for shared promotion of child rights within the framework of South-South collaboration. The meeting will also examine ways to maximize the economic benefits associated with universal healthcare, eliminating violence against children, and strong social protection systems. Former President of Fiji Ratu Epeli Nailatikau is also one of the keynote speakers at the panel discussion on the prevention of violence against children. 

The Ministry for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation being the administrator of the social protection networks in Fiji, the delegation is led by Assistant Minster Hon. Veena Bhatnagar. In her statement, Ms. Bhatnagar said, “This will be a golden opportunity to articulate our collective efforts in addressing rights of children as clearly embraced in our Constitution and the UN Convention on the Rights of Children. The forum will also open new dimensions whereby work of the National Coordination Committee on Children (NCCC) will be further strengthened. Our partnerships with UN agencies, Faith Based Organisations (FBO’s) and NGO’s in Fiji are a strength in the national effort to address child welfare.”

A unique element of the meeting is the direct inclusion and contribution of young people. An ‘Innovation Challenge’ was issued prior to the meeting calling for young people to share their ideas to address challenges around the key themes of social protection, ending violence against children, and providing universal healthcare. Over 660 submissions were received from across the region and the top three ideas will be presented at the meeting, to help win support and turn them into action.

“Greater investments in effective social protection programmes is a key ingredient for economic growth that benefits all segments of the population”, added Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Pacific Representative. 

The meeting will examine ways to maximize the economic and rights benefits associated with universal healthcare, eliminating violence against children, and strong social protection systems. Guided by three expert papers, which are now available on Billion Brains website (www.billionbrains.org), attending governments will discuss best practices and share lessons learned.


For more information, please contact: 

UNICEF Pacific

Ahmed Saleem, Communications Specialist, at asaleem@unicef.org

Ministry of Women, Children, and Poverty Alleviation

Dr. Josefa Koroivueta, Permanent Secretary, at josefa.koroivueta@govnet.gov.fj

 

 
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